Malaysia

Dr M warns youths against believing ‘propaganda’

By Clara Chooi
January 07, 2012

SHAH ALAM, Jan 7 — Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad urged youths today to reject “propaganda”, warning that such information could be used as tools to exploit and cause harm to others. 

The former prime minister said youths should be selective when acquiring knowledge, adding that the application of useful information would help them succeed. 

“Today we have a huge flow of knowledge and information coming to us which could be harmful and confusing sometimes, and if we are not careful in selecting them, we can be influenced,” he was quoted as saying on Bernama Online today. 

“Propaganda, for instance, is invented so that it can twist knowledge to obtain certain advantage and it is not always good. 

“As such, people can make wrong decisions if they are not careful enough in choosing the right knowledge,” he added, in his speech at the Knowledge Management Forum held at Universiti Teknologi Mara here. 

Dr Mahathir’s (picture) statement comes amid a significant rise in student activism, with numerous groups here demanding for greater academic and individual freedom. 

In a recent incident, a student, Muhammad Safwan Anang, was allegedly assaulted by the police during his participation in a peaceful demonstration by student activists at Universiti Perguruan Sultan Idris (UPSI) in Tanjung Malim. 

The demonstration was held following widespread controversy over the lowering of a banner bearing the likeness of Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Razak by Adam Adli Abd Halim, a 21-year UPSI student, outside Umno’s headquarters here last month. 

The police have denied assaulting the activists during the demonstration, saying there was “no scuffle” when arrests were made during their attempt to break the gathering. 

But Safwan Anang, who was hospitalised after the student protest, has insisted otherwise. 

The Universiti Malaya student was allegedly assaulted and lost consciousness in the 2.30am fracas which saw 17 students arrested. 

Other students and opposition politicians have also claimed that several students involved in the demonstration for academic freedom were allegedly beaten up and arrested after refusing to heed a police order to disperse.